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Ride with Brad Sportive

Another Sunday. Another 5am start. I’ve come to the conclusion that having a lie-in on a Sunday morning is a complete myth, or it’s something that only teenagers do. I arrived in Barnoldswick early for the Ride With Brad Sportive to 1) Buy tickets for a ‘photo with Brad’ (for the kids mainly, honest) and […]

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The rough and the smooth

Following on from the less-than-successful-but-very-nice-to-have-a-laugh-with-my-mates weekened of SITS, it seems that the mediocre showings at races have continued. In the last week, I’ve rolled up to the start of another two races, the first of which was a local cross country MTB race. The ‘Midweek Madness’ series is six races-long and takes place in various […]

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Sleepless in the Saddle 2012

It all started so well. Dave and I had entered SITS in the pairs category – it’s pretty safe to say that neither of us would entertain the idea of riding solo at Catton ever again but having a rest after every fast lap seemed like an idea compromise. If our previous antics in the […]

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Holiday snaps

Not being a big fan of beach holidays (or sitting by the pool holidays), I planned to take my road bike with us for our week in Southern Spain. Once I realised that Ryanair charge 50 quid EACH WAY for a bike, I looked into other options. Luckily I was able to hire a carbon […]

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The Bowland Badass

Moan, moan, gripe, whinge, moan, moan…. It’s Dave I felt sorry for. Despite my near-constant barrage of whining about my sore back, running over a rabbit, my sore hamstrings, being hit by a sparrow, my headache, being smacked in the face at 35mph by a bumble bee, my lack of climbing power and almost having […]

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Mountain Fat Mayhem

The mud at this year’s Mountain Mayhem was beyond belief. Being dragged onto the camping field by a Land Rover on Friday afternoon, I was already imagining how horrific 24 hours of riding/walking around a ruined course was going to be – wheels not turning, huge, heavy lumps of wet earth stuck to every inch […]

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Ooof!

Photo: Andy Chadwick It seems to take longer and longer to recover from anything these days. A few years ago I’d be able to ride two 24 hour races pretty much back-to-back – admittedly I probably wasn’t applying myself to the task in hand with the level of intensity that I’m doing at the moment, […]

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Enduro 6 2012

It seems like longer than a year since I last did the Enduro 6. Maybe I deliberately blocked it from my mind following last year’s puncture-fest or perhaps the fact that I seem to have ridden the course at Catton Park so many times over the years that things are simply becoming too familiar. If […]

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putting it all together

Following a brief low-point around 12 Hours Of Exposure – which included an unspectacular result and a bout of illness – things picked up with my preparation for the 24 hour solo World’s, now less than three weeks away. I’ve managed to put that frustrating couple of weeks behind me and I’ve had a satisfying […]

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Just about holding it together….Just about…

Any big plan for any big race occasionally and somewhat inevitably, takes a bit of a ‘detour’ –factors such as tiredness, fatigue, illness or just plain-old everyday life constantly threaten to upset ‘The Plan’ and if the disruption is significant enough, throw it into chaos. I’d been doing quite well this time. I’m can sometimes […]

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12 Hours Of Exposure

Following a nice relaxing week in Newcastleton I lined up at the start of this year’s 12 (not 24 this time, remember) Hours of Exposure. Somewhat nervous for some reason, maybe because I knew that soon after the start and the incredibly slow trundle through the village, the crazed sprint up the first climb would […]

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Staging post

This year’s 12 and 24 hour solo MTB championships take place around a month earlier than usual, perhaps due to the fact that the Worlds (the one in Italy, not the one in Canada :-/) are in May. For perhaps the first time ever, I’ve planned my training and races around that event in May […]

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Sherwood Pines XC

Riding almost wheel-to-wheel, zipping through the trees on singletrack barely wider than our tyres, carving around bends, a small weight-shift here…a mere hint of brake there…drop down this hill, carry enough speed for the next little uphill… The sun was shining, the ground was dry, the trails were quiet. “I tell you what, let’s not […]

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On-One Scandal

I’ve had this ‘new generation’ On-One Scandal since a few days before the Strathpuffer, back in January. Brant kindly sorted me out with it so that I’d be able to use my old Scandal as a spare in the race. I’d was racing singlespeed at the ‘Puffer so the Scandal came with some extra, one-gear-specific […]

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Polocini Winter Sprinter

A long, hilly ride the day before what was bound to be (based on the pace last year and the people I’d be riding with this year) a very fast 60 mile road ride should have been ok. A few hours in the hills, ride to Macclesfield, tea at mum-in-law’s, stay over then ride to […]

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Mr Sparkle’s Dark ‘Un

Much like riding my bike at night, running in the dark is pretty normal for me. With very little opportunities for getting out in daylight, most of my exercise is done with the aid of lights – handlebar, helmet or head mounted. When Simon told me he was going to organise a night-time fell race, […]

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Winter Hill fell race

Each winter, I attempt to turn myself into a runner. I’m never going to be a ‘fast’ runner because I never completely focus on it and I’m not really the right shape for it either (this is an assumption based on the number of super-skinny blokes you see in fell races), but it does help […]

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Hit the North 3

pic: Sportsunday Two 5am starts and a 14 hour ‘shift’ to set up the course on the day before the race is no way to look good for the cameras or deal with the constant, intense commotion and plate-spinning needed to run a successful event. But I arrived at Philips Park at 6am on Saturday […]

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Strathpuffer 2012

It’s three in the morning and I’m sat on a chair in a tent with my head between my legs, trying desperately to stretch my back muscles. It isn’t making much difference to the amount of pain that I’m feeling. For the last three or four laps of the Strathpuffer, I’ve tried to ignore the […]

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Christmas cross and Strathpuffer countdown

Despite my resolution at the end of the 2010 cyclocross season to “have a half-decent ‘cross season next time”, my effort this time was a bit lame. I managed to attend just two cyclocross races, one was the Macclesfield Supacross – an hour-long tear-arse around a park in Macclesfield. Conditions were quite nice, not too […]

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So, 2011 then.

2011 was one of those ‘eventful’ years. All the big stuff is well-documented elsewhere in this blog, so I’ll summarise… I got hit by a car a week before the Strathpuffer. I missed the Strathpuffer. I started riding bikes properly again just in time to regain some fitness for the big races in the early […]

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Another countdown….

It’s less than 6 weeks until the Strathpuffer. Following the mishap a week before the race last time, I’m just planning to get there in a reasonable state of fitness and enjoy this next few important weeks of training. I’m doing what a usually do – my plan seems to have been quite effective in […]

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Hit the North 3 preview vid

Last weekend I spent some time buggering about trying to attach the camera to my bike, spent some time trying not to fall off while filming a lap, spent a stupid amount of time editing/swearing/shouting at the footage and the result is this. I’ve edited out quite a lot, including a number really horrible bits […]

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The Bowland Badass

Everyone likes an honest, value for money, fun-but-challenging bike event. Well, most people I know do anyway. Hit the North, I reckon, is all of those things and more. So when I see that someone else is also sticking their neck out and organising something at a grass-roots level, I’m immediately interested. As soon as […]

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Movin’ on

Those of you that have seen the news on the On-One website will know already that I’m not riding for Ragley anymore. The last two-and-a-half years have been pretty special – the amount of success, especially in 24 hour races, that I’ve enjoyed has been way beyond what I expected and the level of support […]

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This is not just an energy gel….this is a Clif energy gel…

Gels are usually a means-to-an-end. Something necessary for getting the fuel in without having to eat large bowls of carbohydrate-rich food. They’re convenient and straightforward but rarely are they particularly tasty or some kind of ‘treat’.  Sure, they’ve improved immensely in recent years but they’re still a kind of ‘synthetic chemical food substitute’ and have […]

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Hit the North 3

Here we go again. Yep, ‘we’. I almost single-handedly organised last year’s HTN, which was satisfying but pretty knackering. The fact that Andrew has now returned and the old partnership is driving the HTN bubble car will mean that things will be a bit less frantic on the day and we should be able to […]

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Relentless 24 2011

Well over a decade ago, shortly before Debbie and I were married, we both learned how to scuba dive. It was a horrible experience. Diving itself is cool, but it was a horrible experience because we learned to dive in the middle of winter in a flooded quarry near Lancaster. It was so cold that […]

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Sufferfest: A Very Dark Place

David at The Sufferfest sent me a pre-release copy of his new indoor training video, ‘A Very Dark Place’ a few days ago. The weather has been unseasonably warm and sunny recently though, so I didn’t really have much chance until yesterday to sit on the turbo trainer for an hour to try it out… […]

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